Ramon Foster Familiar With Next Man Up Role

While the official word on the right knee injury suffered by Pittsburgh Steelers rookie right guard David DeCastro Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills is not yet known, it would be anything short of a miracle if he is not lost for season. The early rumors are that the Steelers first round draft pick tore both the ACL and the MCL in his knee after it got caught underneath him while pass blocking on the Steelers second possession.

With DeCastro now likely out for the year, the Steelers will once again turn to Ramon Foster to fill the void. Foster, who signed a one-year restricted free agent tender this offseason, has started 26 games since making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2009 out of Tennessee.

Although Foster did not win the starting right guard job out of training camp last year, he claimed the spot in week 4 after starter Doug Legursky suffered an injury against the Indianapolis Colts in week 3, and held it for the rest of the season.

While Foster is not as mobile as DeCastro is, he is capable. He was one of the Steelers best pass blockers last year and his play, although not dominant, was consistent and mostly above the line.

Due to the injury to DeCastro, the Steelers could now be forced to keep both Trai Essex and rookie Kelvin Beachum on the 53 man roster for depth purposes. A dark horse might be undrafted free agent guard Ryan Lee, who has played very well in his limited preseason action at left guard. The Steelers could also decide to watch the waiver wire during final cuts to see if a serviceable swing man becomes available.

Whatever ends up happening depth wise, Foster is the next man up at right guard for the foreseeable future and the Steelers can win with him at the position. They have before.

  • Bob Francis

    I’ll be interested to see your O-Line grades for last night. Essex and Beachum have struggled so mightily, so unless they really came on last night, I still would prefer that they give Lee a longer look and/or scan the waiver wire. If they still see potential in Beachum, then ship him to the practice squad for a season to develop. I guess it only makes sense to let Essex go if they can get a sure upgrade from other teams’ cast-offs, but judging from his play so far, that might not be out of the question.

    What sort of cap room do the Steelers have to sign someone who might come up after teams start cutting down?

  • zyzak

    Beachum will be cut today along with Essex. Not confident in their O line at all. I know that #77 is a rook but he stinks at tackle. Time to check the waiver wire

  • joed32

    Beachum isn’t ready at all but I think the’ll keep Essex again. I like Lee but I didn’t see him on the field last night, don’t know if that’s a good sign or a bad one.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Not seeing Lee let us know he will not make the squad…but I believe he is PS.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    We do need to remember that Foster was very consistant last year…his problem is he isnt very mobile and he has maxed his upside…we will be fine and no need to worry…I see John Malecki stepping up…I thought he has faired very well and think he can play a back up role for us.

  • SteelSpine

    Thanx helpful points. I agree w you & Dave that Foster seemed OK in pass protection at guard last yr. Difference w Foster insteada DeCastro is pulling ability so will have to limit playbook a tad bit via not call plays which the RG pulls left then runs upfield to take out a LB (can call that play only as a decoy now, not for any play needing Foster to go find a LB). Thanx for bringing up Malecki because I forgot about him til last night Wolfley &/or Ikin said Malecki had a great camp. I’d like to hear from anyone who knows if Malecki has played much RG & if he is as mobile as Legursky & does he have Foster’s reach/ability as a pass blocker.

  • SteelSpine

    Ouch. OMG. No sugar coating in that 🙂

  • SteelSpine

    I completely agree. Can Lee or maybe Malecki be better at RG than Foster, because gonna need Foster to back up other positions, I’m not liking what’s left in the cupboard. The only FA available yet who knows the line calls, is (gulp) Jonathan Scott (shhhh) the spin-doctoring from media would be Scott would be playing guard insteadof any OTackle position here. Rather than that or Keomonatu, good question of whether it would be too late for castoffs from other teams to be able to learn our OL playbook & gel with it.

  • Malecki’s a high motor guy with great pulling ability in the run game. His biggest weakness is his size and he sometimes can get a little outweighed in the trenches (especially against a haloti ngata or the likes). He came from wannstedt’s system in college, so he knows the pro game and actually has the skill set of a steeler lineman. It’s just that size that worries most fans…